The May/June 2018 issue of Bake From Scratch helped me make a firm and pleasant apple pie. Patience and technique were paramount qualities, here.

Apple Pie
Bake From Scratch,
May/June 2018
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

There are few things more Southern than a from-scratch slice of  pie. The combination of spiced apple filling and buttery double crust is as close to simple perfection as a dessert can get. Remember, cold ingredients and limited handling of the dough create the flakiest crust.

Piecrust Dough (recipe follows)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple pie spice
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 cups sliced Gala or Fuji apples (about 2½ lbs.)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 Tbsp.  water

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Let Piecrust Dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough to ½ inch beyond edge of plate.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, cornstarch, apple pie spice, and salt. Add apples and lemon juice, tossing to coat. Spoon apple mixture into prepared crust.

On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife or a fluted pastry wheel, cut 6 (1-inch-wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design on top of filling. Trim strips to ½ inch beyond edge of plate. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush dough with egg wash.

Bake until crust is golden brown and apples are tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour, loosely covering with foil after 30 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Piecrust Dough
Makes 1 (9-inch) double crust

4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
¾ cup ice water

In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. With processor running, add ¾ cup ice water in a slow, steady stream until a dough forms.

Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

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First, prep the piecrust dough. To achieve my “ice water,” I placed ¾ cup water in my measuring cup and placed it in the freezer for a bit. Notice how the dough is mixed in the food processor: easy, but be patient until it becomes “crumbly.” I wrapped and chilled the dough in the fridge overnight.

Experience has taught me that a dough that’s chilled overnight needs more than 15 minutes before it can be rolled. You can’t rush this part. Wait for it.

Once the dough is ready to roll, you’ll keep chanting “⅛-inch thick, ⅛-inch thick” as you eyeball it. It’s a good, well-behaved dough. I did indeed use a fluted pastry wheel to cut my strips.

What’s “apple pie spice,” you ask? I mixed 1½ Tbsp. cinnamon, 1½ tsp. nutmeg, and 1 tsp. allspice, then used 1 tsp. of the mix for this pie. Four cups of apples equaled 4½ little Galas.

Smell the butteriness as this pie bakes for 55 minutes. I did cover it with loose foil at the 30-minute mark.

My crust was not flaky. My apples were only timidly sweet. A firm and pleasant pie, as I said. Enjoy the exercise.

PREP TIME: chill dough overnight; devote two hours to prep and baking
TASTE: firm and pleasant

Next time, I’ll return to the savory world, to make the “Beet and Goat Cheese Tart,” from the May 2018 issue of Cooking Light. Come back to my site next week, to witness the rewards.